Reducing Motor Vehicle Crashes and Improving Highway Safety in the U.S.

Client: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)


As part of its efforts to improve the accuracy of its estimates of the total costs of motor vehicle crashes in the US, NHTSA contracted M. Davis and Company to conduct the Survey of Reported and Unreported Motor Vehicle Crashes.


M. Davis and Company, Inc. conducted a telephone survey among a sample of 2,000 adults (age 16 and older) who had been involved in a motor vehicle crash in the past twelve months. NHTSA’s information needs required a telephone survey of a national probability sample of drivers in the United States to develop national estimates of the annualized incidence and severity of unreported crashes in the United States. The questionnaire focused on the extent of any injuries and property damage that resulted from the crash in which the respondent was involved.

Interviews averaged approximately 15 minutes in length. The respondent sample was selected from all 50 States and the District of Columbia. This was a dual-frame study – people were interviewed via landline telephone and cell phone in English and Spanish.  Incentives were provided to cell phone respondents.


The resulting total crash data allowed NHTSA to determine the extent to which proposed regulations were cost effective.

Also, this data was valuable to Congress, as it takes into account data on the costs of crashes when considering legislative remedies.

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